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by Jen Leigh on September 18, 2020

Identifying Top Talent Now Saves Headaches Later


You feel it in your head: a tiny, pulsing stress headache. This is likely a familiar feeling for anyone looking to hire new talent in one of the tightest labor markets in living memory. The headhunting headache is a source of dread for HR, hiring managers and co-workers annoyed by the extra work caused by long-term vacancies.

There's no doubt hiring is a hard and expensive proposition at this time, and employers are cultivating new pathways to meet the demand for high achievers and key players in the marketplace. One tried-and-true yet frequently underused source of strong talent are the very employees who are already working at your company. As one of the key reasons to use a modern HR system, identifying talent within your company is easier and faster than ever before.

You might be thinking that this is obvious. In fact, many organizations look internally first before opening up a job requisition. However, if you're starting to identify talent only when a key position becomes available, it is already too late. You must proactively identify and develop talent within your organization in order to have these roles filled before they are vacant. 

Identify Your Future Vacancies with Cloud-Based HCM Software

Look at your senior leadership and high-value talent and consider their career paths. Only 15% of companies believe they have enough talent for key roles. Do you have managers with aspirations of starting their own businesses or employees you know aren't planning to retire with your company? It is time to establish a contingency plan and pipeline for when these employees take their next step: ideally, a vertical one within your company where they can act as value multipliers. Consider the following:

  • The length of time in their role compared to their prior roles.
  • The demand for talent and changes in salary.
  • Is their job actively recruited?
  • What are their plans?

If you aren't sure where the people filling your key roles today want to be tomorrow, it is time to get to know them better. Knowing them will inform you on how to develop top talent. Sit down and map out their journey with them, so you can keep them in your corner. If key leaders in your position are targeted by recruiters frequently, assess their plans often and ensure you adapt to changing salary trends. A competitive salary from two years ago could be well below the market today.

Improve Employee Retention

HCM Software Helps Identify Your Future Leaders 

Your employees today could be your leaders tomorrow. It can cost thousands to hire someone once you factor in the lost productivity, training time and potential fee to a recruiting agency. By developing effective frontline managers in your current talent, your business could save money and earn more in the long run. Only 5% of your employees are high potential, and they are worth investing in. Look for these kinds of employees:

  • Natural leaders who show initiative and take leadership opportunities.
  • Employees that are well liked and display strong social skills.
  • Those who always accomplish tasks with little direction.
  • Employees who hit their goals.

When building your pipeline of future leaders already at your company, choose people who display the soft skills needed to lead, have the ambition to learn and excel at their current role. Be sure all three characteristics are present. Someone who is a fantastic individual contributor may not be a good manager, especially if they love producing.

Begin Building New Leaders with HCM Software

Once you have identified your highest potential employees, consider how to transform them into tomorrow's business leaders when the time comes. Many companies fail to implement their internal training plans. The key to successfully transforming your internal talent into value multipliers begins with open communication. It ends with a company culture and workplace that fits their needs and eliminates barriers to their success. High-potential employees leave environments that are stagnant, have no set path for their growth or lack impact. It is your job to help these valuable employees realize their goals, so help them lay down a path and walk it together. What weaknesses and areas of improvement can you identify? Sit with your future leader and plan out how they can improve these areas. You may provide training or hire a coach for them. Consider these strategies:

  • Formally identify them as high potential.
  • Invest in their learning and development through education, conferences or training.
  • Allow them to use some of their time to pursue goals that benefit them and the company.
  • Rotate their job so they know each role they will manage.
  • Start a formal leadership program.
  • Let them fail forward so they can learn and grow before taking on direct reports.
  • Create incentives and rewards for high achievers.
  • When growing and coaching these employees, be sure to give consistent feedback using "I" statements. Give feedback by first asking whether they're open to receiving feedback and then express what needs to change. You can coordinate together to find a solution and solid path forward.
  • Provide employees leadership opportunities, such as small projects to oversee or larger projects to assist with, and note how current leaders manage them. Reflect and meet with these employees frequently to ensure they are learning and retaining information.

Taking this approach provides value beyond saving money on job searches and aspirin. Employees with engaged teammates work better, and a history of internal promotion attracts more of the top-performing junior employees who wish to move up. As a result, all levels of your company are filled with ambitious and skilled individuals.
By combining these ideas with a great company culture and meaningful work, you can capitalize on the value these high-potential employees bring and develop top talent for your company.

You can track, manage and reward your existing high-potential employees with Inflection HR's suite of cloud-based HCM solutions, and create a great first impression on your next group of talent with easy onboarding. Inflection HR's end-to-end human capital management suite can even help identify your next batch of leaders with advanced analytics and live customer support. Contact us today to learn more.

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Jen Leigh

Jen Leigh is a Senior Product Specialist with Inflection HR's Cloud Based HR and Workforce Management Solutions. Connect with Jenni and the rest of the Inflection HR Team on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.